Preschool Clues


We’ve all heard warnings about watching too much TV and compulsively looking at our phones. Looking at children we love, we wonder about screen-time and its effects on their development. Some parents are consumed by guilt – but should they be?

Like eating, media diets can be healthy or unhealthy. But unlike labeled groceries, most media content is not so easy to categorize as good-for-us whole foods or the equivalent of empty calories.

Now, Angela Santomero – award-winning co-creator of Blue’s Clues and creator of Super Why! and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – explains how to evaluate children’s media content and utilize it to help children flourish academically, socially, and emotionally. In her new book PRESCHOOL CLUES: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World (April 2018; Touchstone), she shares how healthy media empowers, challenges, and builds the self-worth of children, while making them laugh.

Her iconic and wildly successful show Blue’s Clues changed the way young children watched television, destroying the myth that TV is a passive medium. It actively and consistently invited audience participation, engaging viewers and blending fun and learning.

In Preschool Clues, Angela distills the latest research in child development and education, and translates her learning philosophy beyond her award-winning shows, straight into actionable advice for parents and educators. Angela’s 11 clues can be used in everyday scenarios:

  • Clue #1: Play: Play opens the door to a preschooler’s world
  • Clue #2: Pause: Pausing helps preschoolers find their voice
  • Clue #3: Repeat: Repetition leads to learning and mastery
  • Clue #4: Think: Knowing how to think is the key to future success
  • Clue #5: Resolve: Conflict develops grit, coping skills, and strategies
  • Clue #6: Respect: Respectfully communicating builds a preschooler’s self-worth
  • Clue #7: Help: Asking preschoolers “Will you help me?” develops empathy and confidence
  • Clue #8: Model: Modeling shapes our preschooler’s behaviors and experience
  • Clue #9: Observe: Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary can spark our preschooler’s passion
  • Clue #10: Enjoy: Singing and laughing makes parenting easier
  • Clue #11: Celebrate: Celebrating the small things grows a preschooler’s sense of optimism and intrinsic motivation

Called a “modern-day Fred Rogers” by his wife, Joanne, Angela Santomero creates high-quality programs that help young viewers develop the basic skills they will call upon for the rest of their lives. She is the co-creator of Blue’s Clues and creator of Super Why!Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodCreative Galaxy, and Wishenpoof. She holds a master’s degree in Child Developmental Psychology, has won 7 Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, and her work has been cited in numerous publications including Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller, The Tipping Point. She lives in New York with her husband, Greg, daughters Hope and Ella, and dogs Oreo and Samoa.

PRESCHOOL CLUES is an invaluable guide to how quality media helps children learn — and explains how everyone can extend Angela’s successful learning techniques when the show is over.